Washington - It's a travel experience so unique, it only takes place one month every year - but for who knows how long.
A Finnish luxury travel company is set to open a movable hotel at the North Pole that offers a rare and eco-conscious experience for the adventurous traveller who can swing the roughly $100 000 (about R1.4 million) price tag for up to five nights' stay. The North Pole Igloos are slated to welcome its first guests in 2020 and will operate yearly every April.
The once-in-a-lifetime experience is the brainchild of Janne Honkanen, founder and shief executive of Luxury Action, a high-end travel company specialising in arctic excursions. Honkanen said guests at the company's luxury wilderness lodge in the Finnish Lapland region were increasingly interested in knowing more about nature in the Arctic, which prompted the creation of the North Pole experience.
"I thought that this is the time and the opportunity to give a chance for my guests to experience the North Pole with arctic explorers and scientists in a safe way," Honkanen wrote.
Guests at the North Pole Igloos will stay in one of 10 heated, glass-walled igloos at night, where they can gaze at the stars, and probably the Northern Lights, through glass ceilings. During the day, travelers will sight-see around a glacier, meet indigenous people who live in the polar regions and arctic scientists working nearby, and hopefully catch sightings of seals, polar bears, arctic birds and other wildlife, Honkanen said.
Ted Scambos, a senior research scientist with the Earth Science and Observation Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder, said travellers in April can expect "dim and twilight-y" daylight hours in the North Pole, where the sun is very low in the sky and temperatures range from -20ºC to -40ºC.